Diagram: soul, spirit, ego, shadow

 

ego-shadowI found this diagram in a book by Schwartz-Salant (1982). He speaks of the spirit in terms of the capacity for reflection and creativity. Schwartz-Salant says that the soul is the feminine capacity for being and doing. When these two aspects are in harmony, then the ego becomes “the carrier of personal identity.” (p.70) He adds that with this, “the capacity to feel and express need for another person emerges.”

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Quaternity and Divinity: Symbol of God within

Mandala from 18th century with Christ, US Public Domain via wikimedia
Mandala from 18th century with Christ, US Public Domain via wikimedia

In the above image we see Christ taking up the central position in the mandala. Notice the mandala is also a quaternity. Carl Jung speaks to the quaternity:

“the quaternity is the sine qua non of divine birth and consequently of the inner life of the trinity.” (Carl Jung, CW 12, para 125)

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Mater Dei/ Mother of God

Our Lady of Vladimir (12th century), the holy protectress of Russia, now in the Tretyakov Gallery. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Vladimir Mother of God- painted in 1130 in Constantinople. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

In the above image, we see the Theotokos of Vladimir, an image of the mother of God with the Christ child. The icon is a version of Eleusa (tenderness): the Christ child snuggles up to his mother’s cheek [1]. The image is surrounded by a golden light, expressing divine illumination. Carl Jung tells us that presence of Mary betokens the sacred quaternity. Jung says:

“The old philosophers of nature represented the Trinity, inasmuch as it was “imaginata in natura”, as the… “spiritus,” or volatilia,” viz., water, air and fire” (Carl Jung, 1938, p. 76)

The holy trinity is the father, son, and the holy spirit. Beyond the holy trinity there lies a fourth archetype: wholeness is unified through knowledge of the Divine Mother. The Quaternary adds a fourth aspect to the Trinity. In spiritual symbolism, the fourth aspect is represented by the divine mother. Jung adds:

“The fourth constituent on the other hand was the earth or the body. They symbolized the latter by the Virgin. In this way they added the feminine element to their physical Trinity, producing thereby the quaternary or the circulus quadratus…. The medieval philosophers of nature undoubtedly meant earth and woman by the fourth element… The quaternity in modern dreams is a product of the unconscious… the unconscious is often personified by the anima, a female figure. Apparently the symbol of the quaternity issues from her. She would be the matrix of the quaternity, a Mater Dei, just as the earth was understood to be the mother of God.” ” (ibid)

 

Reference:

  1. Wikipedia on Theotokos of Vladimir
  2. Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology and Religion- 1938

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The Egg as an Image of God and Self

 Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) The Garden of Earthly, Museo del Prado, US Public Domain Delights,
Hieronymus Bosch (1450–1516) The Garden of Earthly Delights, Museo del Prado, US Public Domain Wikimedia

In the above image by Hieronymus Bosch, we see human beings crawling out of the water into an egg. This is a wonderful image. One could say it depicts the primal creation, but backwards. The egg is an archetypal motif of the first-born. In the Vedas, the primordial egg is called Hiraṇyagarbha or Prajāpati, meaning the ‘golden egg’. The golden egg is the seed of creation, the first-born, or first cause in the act of creating the cosmos. The Ṛgveda, speaks of Hiraṇyagarbha:

yo deveṣv ādhi devā eka āsīt
He is the God of gods, and none beside him.

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God in the Darkness

Plate 1 of 22 for the Macklin Bible after Loutherbourg. Bowyer Bible. Frontispiece to the Old Testament, by Phillip Medhurst, 1800, Photo by Harry Kossuth. Wikimedia
Plate 1 of 22 for the Macklin Bible after Loutherbourg. Bowyer Bible. Frontispiece to the Old Testament, by Phillip Medhurst, 1800, Photo by Harry Kossuth. Wikimedia

The people stood far off, while Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa draws upon Exodus 20:21 to show that God is found not only in the light, but in the darkness as well. Gregory of Nyssa saw that at first, to know God, we must ‘escape from the darkness’. But as we are devoted in our spiritual progress we come to “the invisible and the incomprehensible”, and there we see God. This seeing is a ‘non-seeing’. It is a non-knowing, because it ‘transcends all knowledge’. In this way God is comprehended within the darkness.

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